SEOUL (Reuters) – A North Korean youth group has donated rocket launchers to the military in a show of “fervent patriotism”, state media KCNA reported on Wednesday, as the isolated state confronts what it sees as growing foreign threats.
The donation of military equipment took place at a ceremony on Tuesday as the Korean Children’s Union (KCU), a political youth group, celebrated its 77th anniversary.
The KCU, whose members are known for their red scarfs, was set up to promote the North’s political ideology including “Juche”, or self reliance.
In recent months, North Korea has stepped up propaganda efforts and public messaging, including the staging of rallies at which effigies of South Korean and American leaders have been burned, as its missile and nuclear programmes raise growing alarm abroad.
North Korea has defied U.N. Security Council resolutions by test firing various missiles, including its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile this year.
Last week, it drew international condemnation by attempting to launch its first spy satellite, although the rocket and the payload plunged into the sea.
Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by senior ruling party officials, KCNA reported. It did not say how the funds were raised for the military equipment.
The donated rocket launchers were dubbed “Sonyeon”, which means boy in Korean, although the youth group’s members include boys and girls.
(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel)
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